Pest control experts and public health specialists warn that there are dozens of different human pathogens associated with pigeons, including some that can be dangerous or even deadly. Many experts feel that pigeons are a significant health risk to people.
Do Pigeons cause diseases?
Pigeon droppings are not only unsightly; their acid content can eat into soft stone and cause long-term damage to buildings. The nest droppings, and feathers also block gutters and rainwater pipes causing water damage. Their droppings can lead to severe hazards on pavements, especially for the elderly, and can carry pathogenic organisms. Pigeons can carry a number of potentially infectious diseases such as salmonella, tuberculosis and ornithosis (a mild form of psittacosis - pneumonia-like symptoms). They are also a source of allergens, which can cause respiratory ailments like pigeon fancier's lung and allergic skin reaction. There is potential for these illnesses to be spread to people through contact with pigeon droppings, dandruff and feathers; pigeon parasites; or where dead infected pigeons get into food or water sources.
Besides being direct carriers of disease, nuisance birds are frequently associated with over 50 kinds of ectoparasites, which can work their way throughout structures to infest and bite humans. Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) may consume up to five times their own weight in blood drawn from hosts which include humans and some domestic animals. In any extreme condition, victims may become weak and anemic. Pigeons, starlings and house sparrows are known to carry bed bugs
Salmonellosis often occurs as "food poisoning" and can be traced to pigeons, starlings and sparrows. The disease bacteria are found in bird droppings; dust from droppings can be sucked through ventilators and air conditioners, contaminating food and cooking surfaces in restaurants, homes and food processing plants.
Histoplasmosis is a respiratory disease that may be fatal. It results from a fungus growing in dried bird droppings. Candidiasis is a yeast or fungus infection spread by pigeons. The disease affects the skin, the mouth, the respiratory system, the intestines and the urogenital tract, especially the vagina. It is a growing problem for women, causing itching, pain and discharge. Cryptococcosis is caused by yeast found in the intestinal tract of pigeons and starlings. The illness often begins as a pulmonary disease and may later affect the central nervous system. Since attics, cupolas, ledges, schools, offices, warehouses, mills, barns, park buildings, signs, etc. are typical roosting and nesting sites, the fungus is apt to found in these areas.
These are just a few.